The Top-10 Prospects in This Year's Draft

Published May 12, 2023 at 11:48
BY JIM
     
The NHL Draft Lottery is done and over with, and with that starts all the frenzy about who's going where and who is the best prospect. Well, I'm going to rank the top-10 current prospects in my head.

1. Connor Bedard, C: Is there really any explaining to do? He's been called a generational talent since last year, and has nothing but proved that. Bedard has won the World Juniors tournament on Team Canada and broke many World Junior records. In his WHL career, Connor put up 271 points in 139 games. There is no doubt in my mind that whatever team gets the first pick, they're going to select Connor Bedard in a heartbeat.

2. Adam Fantilli, C: Adam was a household name not only at Michigan, but all around the country. Fantilli had 65 points in 35 games this year and is a menace to have on the power play. He was also on the Canadian team and had 5 points in 7 games alongside Bedard.

3. Matevi Michkov, RW: Matevi has phenomenal hands. He can score lacrosse goals, behind the backs, all of it. He's also a great skater. At the age of only 18, he can be a fun little project for NHL teams who aren't quite there yet. While Michkov doesn't strike the awe in points, with 20 points in 27 games, he was great at St Petersburg this year and has a lot of potential.


4. Leo Carlsson, C: Carlsson really jumped up draft boards the last couple of months, and I buy into all the hype he's getting. Leo was brought up from the Orebro HK Jr team after having a 27 point season to the actual Orebro team, and that didn't faze him at all. Carlsson kept pace and put up a 25 point season in 44 games. Leo Carlsson has all the potential in the world, and I'm glad people are seeing it.

5. Will Smith, C: The first American on this list is Will Smith. Smith, on the U18 USA National Team, had 127 points in only 60 games, meanwhile also having 20 points in 7 games in the WJC, just three points behind Connor Bedard. This kid is special, and if he's here at #5, any team would be foolish not to grab him.

6. Zach Benson, LW: Benson in any other class would be top-5, maybe even top-3 for me. But since this class is so stacked, tough decisions had to be made, and this was a tough one to make. Benson had 98 points in 60 games on the Winnipeg Ice. He also had 7 points in 5 games on Canada's U18 team.

7. Dalibor Dvorsky, C: Dalibor, like Leo Carlsson, doesn't really stand out in terms of points, but has scouts seeing his full potential and is moving up draft boards. In the World Juniors on Team Slovakia, Dvorsky had 13 points in 7 games. He is more than a point-per-game player every season.

8. Axil Sandin Pellikka, D: The first defenseman on this list comes at #8, just hanging onto the top-10. Pellikka has only been in the negatives twice in his entire career. Axil had 11 points in 7 games with a +8 for Team Sweden in the World Juniors. And for Skelleftea, he has 36 points in 31 games with a +/- of 15.

9. Matthew Wood, RW: Most people see Wood going in the top-5, maybe top-7, but I think this is just about right for him. Wood had 34 points in 35 games at the University of Connecticut this NCAA season. Matthew also had 13 points in 7 games at the WJC on Team Canada.

10. Andrew Cristall, LW: Just in by the skin of his teeth in the top-10 is Andrew Cristall. Cristall is a really impressive left winger who can make an impact in whatever game he's in. This WHL season with the Kelowna Rockets, Cristall put up 94 points in 54 games. Andrew also had 6 points in 7 games for Team Canada in the World Juniors tournament.

This is a stacked class, and I can see anyone falling or coming into the top-10.
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May 12   |   360 answers
The Top-10 Prospects in This Year's Draft

Who do you see going #1?

Bedard31386.9 %
Fantilli205.6 %
Michkov133.6 %
Carlsson143.9 %
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